If you’ve ever ridden on BART before, you know this: The ride can go one of two ways. It can have unprecedented/unwanted/uncanny/intrusive entertainment or it can be shockingly mellow and completely forgettable. In my experience, the former is much more common.
I often board BART in Millbrae, the end of the line, which allows the commodity of choosing a seat (they’re all open). As we screech north towards the City, more and more passengers step aboard, adding to the menagerie of the public transit commuters. The cars always start to stack full at 16th and Mission and by Embarcadero, it’s squished standing room only. Then, en route to the East Bay, BART dips under the Bay, and it gets eerie.
It’s weird. We’re all underwater, speeding along a track, in a pitch tunnel, with terrible ear-drum choking noise…and everyone carries on reading their books, chatting to their friends, texting on their iPhones, staring out the black windows into the whizzing abyss, and that’s that. The penetrating nature of the cacophony of white noise is mesmerizing. It’s like a space time portal.
“Now approaching, West Oakland. West Oakland, now approaching.”
Back above ground, daze over. My ride the other night wasn’t notable. Rather, it provided an uninterrupted chunk of time that I dedicated to chapter 8 of Carl Jung‘s Memories, Dreams, Reflections.